My thanks to The Times for the informative and timely article May 23, "Playa Vista Developer May Escape Traffic Fees," and kudos to Department of Transportation Manager S. E. Rowe for opposing Councilwoman Galanter's proposal to rewrite a city transportation law that would exempt Playa Vista developers from paying $68.3 million in traffic mitigation fees.
It looks like mega-developers who supported our downtown and local politicians through campaign donations are beginning to reap the benefits.
I agree with Galanter's statement that "the old approaches don't work." They certainly won't work on the massive Playa Vista project. But neither will Galanter's trade-off proposal for a piecemeal approach to mitigating traffic impacts.
Developer incentives can help resolve social problems, such as the need for more affordable housing. But exempting the largest development ever proposed in an already overburdened coastal corridor from one penny in traffic mitigation fees should not happen.
Given the size and negative impact this project will impose on our community, there must be no fee reductions, no trade-offs, no credits. Playa Vista developers should be made to do it all: pay the $68.3 million in traffic fees, build affordable housing, institute an employee traffic reduction program, set money aside for the future in case the mitigation plans are unsuccessful and reduce the project size.
Maguire Thomas must be held accountable for the traffic Playa Vista will generate. If Playa Vista does not pay now, the community will certainly pay later.
JUDITH E. WYLUDA